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UN rights council votes to review Philippine killings
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UN rights council votes to review Philippine killings

GENEVA, July 12 ------ The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) yesterday narrowly approved a resolution mandating a “comprehensive” international review of the Philippines’ drug war, which has killed thousands of people. Manila, however, rejected what it called a “tiny, minority-approved” measure that “insulted” the Philippines. The resolution had faced strong pushback from President Duterte’s government, which counters that the toll has been exaggerated – its estimates say 6,600 have died – and that the crackdown has the strong support of many Filipinos.

Duterte’s three-year drug war has unleashed a surge of bloodshed in the Philippines, with reports of almost nightly slaying of suspects by police and masked gunmen.  Activists said they had initially hoped the UN resolution would call for a formal “inquiry,” but compromised on a “report” to win a majority. The text, initially proposed by Iceland, secured the backing of 18 states in the 47-member rights council, with 14 nations voting against and 15 abstentions. It calls on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to prepare a “comprehensive written report on the situation of human rights in the Philippines,” over the coming year.

Manila’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Evan Garcia, immediately rejected the result. “We will not accept a politically partisan and one-sided resolution,” Garcia said after the vote, reading a statement on behalf of Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. “This resolution does not represent a triumph of human rights but a travesty of them,” Garcia said, adding “there will be far-reaching consequences.” “Actually no effect but for those who voted to insult us, the consequences will be far reaching,” Locsin said on Twitter. “The Philippines rejects this resolution. It cannot, in good conscience, abide by it. We will not accept a politically partisan and one-sided resolution, so detached from the truth on the ground. It comes straight from the mouth of the Queen in Alice in Wonderland… First the judgment, then the proof,” Locsin said in a statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

According to Locsin, the adoption of the resolution has “no effect as such resolutions, especially those passed by a tiny minority, can and will be ignored.”  “By a tiny minority, rejections and abstentions vastly outnumbered it,” Locsin said. When the former UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein previously raised concern about the drug war, Duterte called him an “idiot” and a “son of bitch.”

Source: philstar.com